Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

The NCLEX Exam

The State Board Examination (NCLEX) is administered via Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). The test is administered year around for all graduates of nursing programs.

Applications and registration information for licensure in Washington State will be distributed to you during Winter Quarter of your senior year (BSN) or Spring Quarter (ABSN/GEPN). You will receive a link to the application packet and instructions from Academic Services. Read and follow all instructions exactly. If you are planning to apply for licensure outside of Washington State, contact the Licensing Division of that state and ask for the appropriate application packet.

There are many different ways to prepare for the state board examination. Books, seminars, and computer programs are available to help you study. Annually, PONS works with an outside agency to plan and offer a review seminar just before or right after graduation. The seminar lasts several days and covers state board topics and test taking strategies. Most students participate in the seminar, and PONS has been able to negotiate for reasonable rates for participants. Additionally, students continue to study individually or in groups up until their exam.

You can download more information on where to take the NCLEX and advice from former students.

You should submit your state board application approximately 2-3 months prior to the end of the program. Academic Services will sent a final confirmation of your graduation to the appropriate state board after grades for your last quarter have been submitted and posted. This is approximately three days after your graduation date.

It can take up to 3-4 weeks after your graduation before you will receive an authorization to test in the mail from the State Board. At this point you are eligible to contact the appropriate testing agency and schedule your exam. You will receive a list of applicable testing agencies from the state board. In the Puget Sound area, Sylvan Learning Centers in Seattle, Lynnwood and Puyallup have been used in the past.

Your license is mailed to you once your test results are in and your paperwork has been finalized. Students are usually able to work as a Registered Nurse after one-and-a-half to two months following graduation.